Cayo Coco Cuba is famously known for its beautiful beaches with crystal turquoise waters and white sand, lingering outside the northern coast of Cuba connected to the main island with a long causeway!
This part of Cuba is home to some of the world’s best coral reefs Jardines del Rey, filled with colorful fish and other marine wildlife on the large reef system that runs outside the northern coast of Cuba.
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The Cuban Keys
All the Cuban Keys, the small paradisiacal islets around the main island of Cuba, offer you as a traveler a variety of water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing.
There are also land activities such as cycling, horseback riding, hiking, and bird watching. Other attractions include coral formations, caves, lagoons, and lakes.
The whole area is surrounded by a variety of wildlife including flamingos, pelicans, herons, and iguanas. Or you can just chill at your hotel or on the beach, of course!
Cayo Coco Cuba Holidays
If you are wondering why you should go for a holiday in Cayo Coco Cuba, that has to be because you want to wind down in a luxurious all-inclusive hotel, steps from a Caribbean beach.
Here you don’t need to focus on anything but enjoy the amazing temperature, warm water, and pampering service, and go on leisurely day activities on or off the water.
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Cayo Coco In Cuba
Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are without a doubt amongst the most alluring tourist destinations in Cuba. And, there’s one clear reason for this – the beaches and waters are simply mesmerizing.
These beaches boast incontrovertibly crystal-clear waters that encircle the warm sections of the ocean.
An amazing 17-mile causeway connects both islands stretching over the Bahía de Perros (Bay of Dogs), with the former being Cayo Coco, and all the way up in the western corner you can cross over to tiny Cayo Guillermo.
Be advised, in Cayo Coco, there is nothing that resembles the “real Cuba” anywhere, and no locals live on the island. You can check out the map at the end of this article if you want to find out where you will be in relation to everything else!
The Smaller Cayo Guillermo
Cayo Guillermo is smaller and less developed than neighboring Cayo Coco, making it a great option for those who prefer a quieter, more intimate vacation experience.
Despite its size, Cayo Guillermo still packs a punch when it comes to stunning natural beauty and exciting activities.
One of the biggest draws of Cayo Guillermo is its idyllic beach, Playa Pilar. This stretch of white sand is nestled against rolling sand dunes, providing a picturesque backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.
If you’re a fan of water sports, head to Playa El Paso, where you can paraglide or kite-surf to your heart’s content. It’s a popular spot for kite-surfing enthusiasts, and you’ll often see colorful kites bobbing atop the waves.
Accommodations on Cayo Guillermo are limited compared to other destinations, but the hotels here offer everything you need and more for a comfortable stay.
The properties are clustered along Playa El Paso, which means that you’re never far from the beach.
Hotels also offer on-site restaurants serving up fresh seafood and other local favorites, along with cold beer and tropical cocktails.
Things To Do Cayo Coco Cuba
With its stunning beaches and breathtaking nature, the island is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters.
You can explore the Jardines del Rey coral reefs with guided scuba diving trips or experience the thrill of kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Fishing is also popular in Cayo Coco, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of species including marlin and sailfish.
Other activities include kayaking, horseback riding, and cycling through the lush nature trails, exploring nearby caves and lagoons, or birdwatching around the wetlands.
There is a bit of distance to cover if you want to go for a day trip, but it is possible to visit the city of Moron, and the province capital Ciego de Avila on the main island.
Check this overview to see what activities are available that you might like!
Fly Fishing Cayo Coco Cuba
Yes, you can go fly fishing in Cayo Coco. The island is home to an abundance of fish species such as snapper, tarpon, and bonefish.
Fly fishing trips can be arranged for experienced fishermen or for those wishing to learn the sport. Book your deep sea fishing trip at your hotel, or ask them for help to do your booking.
Experienced guides are available who will take you to some of the best locations!
Scuba Diving From Cayo Coco
Cayo Coco is a great starting point for scuba diving on various dive sites along the Jardines del Rey archipelago!
Check with your hotel if they arrange scuba diving trips, or they will refer you to organizers that can take you to the best spots!
Best Beach In Cayo Coco
Around the islands, both Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, there are beaches to find “everywhere”, but here are three that are super popular and famous for their tropical Caribbean beauty.
Playa Pilar On Cayo Guillermo
Widely regarded as one of the Caribbean’s most stunning beaches, Playa Pilar is situated on the northwestern tip of Cayo Guillermo, a short bridge away from Cayo Coco.
Here have uninterrupted views of the turquoise sea and can marvel at the small but picturesque Cayo Media Luna, located just two kilometers offshore.
Playa Pilar is roughly one kilometer long and boasts powdery, ultra-white sand that feels impossibly soft to the touch. The shallow, calm waters that lap at its shores are perfect for swimming and water sports of all kinds.
You can also spot quite a lot of exotic wildlife around here, like the famous pink flamingos and iguanas in the nearby mangrove swamps!
Adding to the allure of the Colorados Archipelago is the charming and petite Playa Prohibida, just 300 meters long! This beach may be small in size, but it packs a punch in terms of natural beauty.
One of the highlights of Playa Prohibida is Lenny’s Bar, a popular restaurant that seems to hit a soft spot with travelers and visitors judging from the overall really good reviews on TripAdvisor!
This eatery is renowned for its mouth-watering lobster dishes that are prepared using only the freshest ingredients. Weird fact, Lenny’s Bar is also famous for its unique collection of license plates from around the world, which adorn the walls of the restaurant and lend it a quirky and eclectic vibe!
Playa Flamenco is the third spectacular beach in Cayo Coco, it is just over a mile long, and bordering the sands you find the two hotels Memories Flamenco and Melia Jardines del Rey.
As there is no one else around for miles, this is as close to a private beach as you can get!
Plenty of activities are available, just ask your hotel to help you out and organize whatever you want to spend your day doing.
Day Trips from Cayo Coco
Many of the hotels either have in-house organizing of, or connection with organizers of, day trips in Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, the waters outside the islands, or over to the mainland. You can check with your hotel what services they offer.
You can also check online with the travel company Holiplus, that are organizing stays and tours in the whole region, including Ciega de Avila province in Cuba.
If you are venturing over to the mainland for a day trip, you might want to consider s short stop at the Parador la Silla bar and restaurant on the way back out to the island!
Apparently, they serve the best Pina Colada for miles and miles!
Cayo Coco Where To Stay
Cayo Coco Holidays offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from small, family-run hotels to luxurious resorts from international hotel chains offering the best possible all-inclusive experience.
There is even a camping experience site in Cayo Coco for those looking for a more rustic experience. This campsite gets a staggering two stars on TripAdvisor, so staying here would be for adventurous travelers that like to challenge their comfort zone!
Very few booking pages will offer stays at Cuban resorts due to trade restrictions and the US Cuba Restricted List. As a non-US citizen, you can stay at any resort in Cuba, but you will need to do your booking directly with the hotel website or hotel chain website.
Here are a few websites where you can book your resort stays in Cayo Coco Cuba:
Note that US citizens can not stay at resorts owned by the government in Cuba as regulated by the US Cuba Restricted List.
Resort Booking In Cayo Coco For Americans
If you are an American citizen, be advised that you are bound by the 12 pre-approved reasons to visit Cuba defined by the US Government, as well as the Cuba restricted list.
This list details which properties and hotels US citizens can not stay at, where the majority is owned by the Cuban state. Most large all-inclusive resorts in Cuba will fall under this category.
As a US citizen, you can find an American travel agency that specializes in Cuba travel from the US to research your hotel and resort options for legal Cuba travel!
Where To Eat Cayo Coco
There are mainly all-inclusive resorts all over Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, and there is no town center or town at all where locals live on the islands.
However, if you want to step outside of your resort turf, there are a few independent restaurants listed that you can try out if you get tired of the resort buffet!
Ranchon Playa Flamenco In Cayo Coco
Ranchon Playa Flamenco is an open and airy restaurant and bar right on the beach with a clear relaxed beach vibe, that receives mainly good reviews.
Lenny’s Restaurant On Playa Prohibida
On the forbidden beach; Playa Prohibida, you find Lenny’s Restaurant, and you can “visit” yourself in the video below!
Ranchon Las Dunas
The Ranchon Las Dunas is an independent restaurant at Plata Mojito Beach on Cayo Coco, close to the hotels Tryp Cayo Coco, and Mojito.
Shopping in Cayo Coco Cuba
Shopping in Cayo Coco Cuba, or shopping in Havana, or Cuba in general for that matter, is not really a “thing”.
The rule of thumb should be that you will NOT find what you need in Cuba, which is why I always recommend that when you visit – bring everything that you know you will need!
That includes travel pharmacy and medicine you normally or often use (you WILL NOT find normal painkillers in Cuba), cosmetics, and anything really.
On Cayo Coco, there is a small shopping center, but do not expect it to be a shopping center like anything you are used to. It is mainly filled with tourist stuff and memorabilia of Cuba.
You can check it out here, the video is arriving at Centro Comercial Cayo Coco La Gaviota, around x seconds and minutes.
How To Get To Cayo Coco
You can fly directly to Cayo Coco Jardines Del Rey Airport with several international airlines.
If you arrive at a different destination in Cuba, there is no public transport that goes all the way out to Cayo Coco. You can take the Viazul bus to Ciego de Avila, and take a taxi from there which is around one and a half hours drive.
You can also book a taxi privado, or a taxi collectivo from wherever you are directly out to Cayo Coco. A taxi collectivo is a taxi that you share with other travelers, and you pay for your seat in the taxi.
Cayo Coco Cuba Map
The Other Stunning Cuban Keys
Although most people think of Cuba as an island, which it is, Cuba is also an archipelago consisting of more than 4000 little islands!
The two biggest are the main island of Cuba and Isla de Juventud, then there are the paradisiacal Cuban keys like Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria, and Cayo Ensenachos outside the northern coast east of Havana.
The Colorados Archipelago, situated off Cuba’s north coast in the far west, is a breathtaking cluster of much smaller Cayos that also attract tourists from all over the world.
Of these stunning islands, Cayo Levisa stands apart as the only island with fully equipped and well-furnished accommodations for tourists.
The top-notch facilities and luxurious amenities offered on this island cater to the needs and preferences of a wide range of travelers, right from the most discerning to those looking for an affordable yet comfortable stay.
Another noteworthy island in the Colorados Archipelago is Cayo Jutias, which is connected to the mainland by a short but scenic causeway. This beautiful island, with its serene beaches and crystal-clear waters, is an extremely popular day trip destination for visitors to Vinales.
Tourists flock to Cayo Jutias to soak in the stunning natural beauty of the island, engage in water sports, or simply lounge on the pristine beaches and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
FAQs Cayo Coco Cuba
What Is Nicer Varadero Or Cayo Coco?
Well, the beaches and Caribbean ambiance are beautiful both in Varadero and Cayo Coco (and Cayo Guillermo, which is basically the same place).
The difference between Varadero and Cayo Coco is that Varadero is on a peninsula connected to the main island of Cuba, around two to three hours east of Havana.
Cayo Coco is an island further east connected to the main island of Cuba by a long causeway, far from most other Cuban destinations.
This makes it less accessible, and a more difficult starting point for day trips to any other Cuban famous places that you might want to visit.
How Far From Cayo Coco Cuba To Havana?
The distance from Cayo Coco to Havana is just over 500 kilometers and will take around six and a half hours to drive in a car.
There are no buses or public transportation directly between Havana and Cayo Coco. You would need to book a taxi privado or collectivo to travel directly between the two destinations.
Is It Safe To Travel To Cayo Coco In Cuba Now?
Yes, it is safe to travel to Cayo Coco in Cuba now.
There are no covid issues in Cuba per May 2023, and the island is solely a tourist zone with hotels and resorts with high levels of security.
Does Cayo Coco Hava A Town?
No, there is no town, or local community, out on Cayo Coco or Cayo Guillermo Cuba.
Why Is Cayo Coco Famous?
Cayo Coco is known for being a hotel and resort zone, where tourists can travel for a luxurious holiday in one of the all-inclusive resorts on the island.
It is also known for being close to the Jardines del Rey, which is part of the larger archipelago called Sabana-Camaguey, with an amazing variety of marine life and a great place for snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, or scuba diving!
Wrap-Up Cayo Coco Cuba Dream Holiday!
Cayo Coco in Cuba is the PERFECT destination for anyone who loves the Caribbean vibe, beach lounging and hotel pools, snorkeling, in short, a luxurious done-for-you pampering holiday!
This is what you should expect on Cayo Coco, where you are “miles from anything else”.
Day trips are a minimum of one hour away, and many famous and popular Cuban sights and destinations are not within day-trip distance.
But Cayo Coco is a perfect place to wind down and recharge!
Happy Travel Planning,
Related blog posts:
All About How To Travel To Cuba From Canada 2023 & 3 Amazing Cuba Tours!
How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba 2023!
9 Best Tours In Varadero Cuba 2023!
My Resource Go-To List For Best Travel Booking Deals!
Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway,
Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator
Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia
Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance
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Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card
Car Rentals Online: Discover Cars
I have been to many Caribbean countries but not to Cuba, and so this post has whetted my appetite! Those clear turquoise waters and soft sandy beaches are just waiting to be visited! I also like the colourful town close by, I would definitely pay it a visit.
The perfect place to enjoy the Caribbean sea, and the Jardines del Rey outside the Cuban coast is also amazing for snorkeling (or scuba diving) trips! 🙂
I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba. This looks like the perfect way to do it in style. Thank you for letting me know about this place.
Cayo Coco definitely is a luxurious pampering place to experience the Cuban corner of the Caribbean 🙂
You had me hooked with the sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. Having visited other Caribbean islands, Cuba is somewhere I’m yet to visit. However, all inclusive package deals aren’t really my preferred choice.
If you like the Caribbean, would like to visit Cuba, and do like beaches – it sounds like Varadero might be better for you! You can choose to stay at a Casa Particular with a Cuban family which many travelers think is a wonderful experience 🙂 Or go to Havana, which also has great beaches, lots of history and culture – and an intriguing Old City!